El Reno Native American Parents Talk with District about Respect

Creating an environment of mutual respect will be the topic of conversation when The Cheyenne Arapaho Tribes Department of Education, Oklahoma Education Association, El Reno Education Association, El Reno Public Schools, parents and community leaders meet this Thursday, Feb. 17 at Etta Dale Junior High, 601 S. Choctaw, El Reno, OK from 5-8:30 p.m. Child care will be available.

This will be the second meeting in a series of community conversations targeting Native American achievement gaps. Native American students in El Reno typically score about 200 points lower on standardized tests than their white counterparts, according to Oklahoma State Department of Education records.

Based on community feedback from the last meeting in December, the groups decided to focus on three main challenges: mutual respect, improved communications and increasing family involvement.

El Reno High School Principal Matt Goucher said anytime you have a culture of mutual respect, the kids pay more attention and learn more.

"Learning is our number one priority and goal. Our teachers are respectful of all students, but because of cultural differences, it may not always be perceived that way. Through staff development, El Reno teachers are committed to learning and adjusting to make every kid feel welcome," Goucher said.

Organizers say they will also discuss how Native American federal funding and casino funds are used to help the school district support Native American students.


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